Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Nurse on Overdrive

Have you ever felt like you're a nurse on overdrive? Whether it's your professional life, your personal life, or a combination of the two, a nurse's life can sometimes feel out of control. 
Nurse on Overdrive

Just the other day, I looked at the calendar, and lo and behold, it was August already! This realization also led me to realize that I had failed to post on Digital Doorway at any time during the month of July, and my nurse blogger's guilt kicked in. After ten years, missing a month felt like a failure.

Not to make excuses, but my wife, Mary, and I received notice from our landlord in early July that she's going to move back into the house where we live. So, with our lease not being renewed at the end of August, we were immediately launched into the high-gear activity of finding a new place to rent during a summer when we had very different plans for ourselves (like camping, writing, traveling, and otherwise doing summery things to while away the dog days of the season).

You see, a nurse's life can be topsy-turvy, and whether you're juggling multiple jobs, raising children, dealing with aging parents, owning and maintaining a home (or renting!), advancing your education, or dealing with hostility or harassment at work, there's no escaping the busy-ness and intensity of 21st-century life.

What are you dealing with right now? What's putting you over the edge, or threatening to do so? What can you let go of, release, or otherwise jettison until another time? Meanwhile, what can you delegate to someone else?

Since I'm myself a nurse, I can say that I see in us nurses a fairly universal tendency to care for others more readily than caring for ourselves.  We'll give and give and give some more, but when do we slow down, look inside, and give to ourselves as generously?

We nurses like to fix things, make everyone better, be heroic, often while neglecting our own needs. Is this you, by any chance?

When we're in overdrive, something has to give, and it's sometimes our health. For me, adding packing and preparing for a move has led to some things being put on the back burner, and other things being delegated or delayed. Not posting on this blog in July wasn't a conscious choice, but it makes sense that something had to fall through the cracks.

For us nurses, allowing our health, well-being, or psychoemotional stability fall through the cracks should not be an option. If you're moving at a breakneck pace, what can you do to put on the brakes?

I've gotten much better at self care in my 40s and 50s, but there's always room for improvement. If you're a nurse on overdrive, consider how to slow down, smell the roses, and take a pause for the cause of wellness and balance.

Personally, I'm asking for help, shelving a few projects until the fall, and otherwise doing my best to stay balanced at a time when a new, unexpected challenge has been placed on my plate.

What's on your plate? How much do you need to slow down? What can you put on the back burner? Let me know, and please turn off that nurse overdrive!

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